A mountain road. There is a lot of praise for the Bergstrasse Social Welfare Office and New Ways Job Center for handling huge tasks such as housing Ukrainian refugees and obtaining livelihood services from volunteer ranks at Bergstrasse Refugee Aid. The district and Caritas invited the exchange and networking meeting. On the other hand, harsh criticism was expressed at the Klostergarten in Bensheim about the legally binding requirements.
Despite the general approval of the responsible department head, Deputy District Carsten Krug, who left office at his request on July 31 and thanked all volunteer refugee aides for their commitment (“it was very important to me to share ideas with you”), a Heppenheim volunteer said he stood Also in front of an accusation in the chamber that the district “negotiated poorly” on one thing: “We will sue.” A representative of Lorsch agreed, saying, “We are participating.”
Anger and indignation are directed against the rent increases (“without discussion”) for refugees decided upon by the Judicial Council. According to the change in the fee law, they are required to pay €420 per person in needy communities instead of the previous €328 per month as of July 1 this year. A participant in the quarterly meeting described the decision as a “fatal political and humanitarian mistake.”
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Section Chief Krug admitted that “in individual cases this can lead to an unfair situation”. However, it is the province’s duty to increase the fee: “We don’t make a profit.” As two of the many reasons for the unpopular decision, its name increased energy costs and increased rent at Christopherus Residences.
In a detailed report, the head of the department went to the current situation. Accordingly, 2,250 Ukrainian refugees are currently registered in the region. “We are seeing a slight drop, partly due to the withdrawal to Ukraine,” says Krug, who spoke of a Germany-wide trend. Between 40 and 50 war refugees are assigned to the area each week. For economic and material reasons, they want to “close” the tent village in Bensheim and house people at Luisen Hospital in Lindenfels by the end of the month.
When asked about sales negotiations between the district and the owner of the Bruchsee Hotel in Heppenheim, which will also be used as accommodation for asylum seekers in the near future, a member of the District Council replied: “We are driving in sight: It will not go as fast as we hoped, but we are already planning a conversion.” . They hope to sign a contract by mid/end of July.
Reorganization is a challenge
Detailed information from Krug and Felix Koch of the Municipal Action Center – and numerous inquiries from the group of participants – has been available on the topic of changing the legal field since June 1, 2022. In plain language, this means that the majority of Ukrainian refugees aged 19-67 do not use their social benefits more according to the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act of the Social Welfare Office, but according to the Second Social Act (SGBII) of the Neue Wege Job Center (rent and living benefits), integration courses, education and participation applications for children, etc.) and at the same time they must To have easier access to the labor market. “There are clear rules from the federal government,” Karsten Krogh said of the national regulation, which was only announced in April. “There are clear rules from the federal government. We can do this together.” Krug spoke of “the voting process.” “.
“Things are going well, but not without noise. “We are doing our best,” commented Felix Koch on the move, which should not leave any gaps. However, according to the law, social benefits can only be granted if the so-called With fictional testimony from the Federal Agency, which regulates the temporary right to residence Integration guides are available to help refugees on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Six-page information in Ukrainian and Russian is available on the district’s website.
Then Alexander Syed of the State Education Authority gave a report on the situation of school-age children from Ukrainian refugees. According to this, about 450 children have been assigned to the Bergstrasse district since February 24. “It’s a recession,” Syed says. From a hundred babies a week in the beginning, there are now only 10 to 20.
In almost all schools in the region, except for a few institutions such as AKG and Lessing-Gymnasium, Ukrainian children can be accepted. They attend intensive classes there. Allocation depends on proximity to the place of residence and occupancy of sites – which does not always work, Syed admitted. Among those seeking protection, Ukrainians were still sought throughout Hesse, who would teach children in their mother tongue every hour. Some have already been mediated. Finally, the integration officer Victoria Ordekhovska gave a lecture.